This is the second installment in our High Rise Series. In this blog, we talk to Jorge Aguilar about his path to high rise success, both personally and professionally. To read the first post in this series featuring Jimmy Keithley of Outlook Window Cleaning, click here.
Jorge Aguilar is the owner and mastermind behind Empire Highrise USA, with headquarters out of Kansas City, Missouri. Jorge is also a trainer at Expert Safety Services and is on the Board of Directors of the IWCA. He’s been a window cleaner for over 15 years and has been SPRAT certified, going on 2 years now. Empire Highrise USA is part of Empire Cleaning, which offers residential, commercial, and high-rise cleaning services. Empire Highrise USA is an unconventional business model that contracts out its high-rise window cleaning services to large maintenance companies that manage very large buildings. When he was choosing a company with which to get trained and get training for his staff, Jorge says he did his research because safety was their highest priority. When he decided to move forward with SPRAT training and certification, he also knew they would be able to learn more techniques and be up to date with current tool use because SPRAT is an intensive program than is deemed more extensive than what is needed for high rise window cleaners. But that didn’t stop him.
Jorge had no trouble getting trained. SPRAT is not a training company but rather a standard of training and is offered countrywide. He liked getting SPRAT trained because of the extensive knowledge you learn about rope access safety. “It was very nice getting to know how to do more advanced techniques (rope transfers, rope management skills, rescues, proper anchor identification techniques, rigging and hauling, etc.).” SPRAT is not right for everyone. Jorge is an advocate of all training, however. He is IWCA certified and has taken steps to bring his knowledge and expertise to his training course. “They are all good as all have different types of information, which is all good to be able to apply in our everyday services.”
Once adequately trained, Jorge took his high rise skills and put them to use. “We (Empire) now specialize in empowering all service companies to offer high rise window cleaning and building washing when they either don’t know how to do it or are too busy to handle deadlines.” He had the idea after having traveled to conventions and seminars, which he has been doing since 2007. He created the connections and community in the window cleaning industry and decided to use his skills to create a unique business model that is Empire Highrise USA. Professionally, high-rise window cleaning has allowed him to offer building washing and work with major corporations who take maintenance seriously, which is job security all around for us. Empire has now grown to provide more than just high rise cleaning. His training and skills have allowed him to create a reputation for his company and expand to meet a broader range of customer needs.
- Get trained, learn from some of the leading industry professionals, and practice.
- Make sure to have the proper insurance.
- Do your research as there are so many different types of gear. Some work better than others, depending on the application.
- Take it slow, grow steadily, and save your money.
When it comes to high-rise window cleaning, training can’t be overstated. Take Jorges’ advice and get trained. Look out for part three of this series. In the meantime, enter to win a Petzl ID and a Petzl ASAP in our #petzlwindowcleaner contest to continue or get your high rise journey started. Enter now at https://www.window-cleaning-supply.com/contest/ and use #petzlwindowcleaner on Instagram and Youtube. Contest ends November 21, 2019.